The Royal Pavilion: A Whimsical Wonderland

East elevation of The Royal Pavilion. / Source:

East elevation of The Royal Pavilion. / Source:

While writing my novella Masquerade Melody, I had the fun task of researching a new-to-me historical landmark—the whimsical Royal Pavilion!

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England which can still be enjoyed by visitors today! Beginning in 1787, it was built in stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. The current appearance of the Pavilion with its exotic domes and minarets is the work of architect John Nash who extended the building, starting in 1815 and ending in 1823.

Queen Victoria visited the Pavilion after ascending the throne in 1837, and she was none too impressed with her uncle’s decadent palace. After just two return visits, the Queen resolved to sell the Royal Pavilion in the late 1840’s. When the opportunity arose to acquire the Pavilion, leading figures in the town recognized the importance of the structure to Brighton’s history and economy. The building was purchased by the town of Brighton in 1850 for £53,000 and remains to this day the only royal palace not owned by the state or the Crown.

Let’s take a brief cyber-tour of this singularly unique British landmark as it stands today!

A Whimsical Wonderland

Upon entering the Royal Pavilion, we pass through a porte-cochere and then the Octagon Hall.

Octagon Hall at The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England. / Source: Pinterest

Octagon Hall at The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England. / Source: Pinterest

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Mackinac Island’s Lovely Victorian Homes

Victorian Home MemeLast month I escorted you on a brief cyber tour of Mackinac Island: A Victorian Oasis. However, my tour of this old-fashioned paradise was a smidgen incomplete due to the fact that it was rather impossible to condense the whole of Mackinac’s beauty into one reasonably sized blog post.

Hence, this secondary post showcasing Mackinac Island’s Lovely Victorian Homes!

Fetch your hat and parasol, dears! We’re off for a quaint stroll.

Victorian Forest GreenVictorian Cottage

One can almost imagine a Victorian Snow White residing in this cottage with a collection of eccentric dwarfs.

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Mackinac Island: A Victorian Oasis

Mackinac IslandAt the end of August, I had the pleasure of visiting the Victorian Era. No, not by means of time machine. I simply took a ferry across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island, near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mackinac Island gained renown in the late Victorian Era as a summer vacation resort for the wealthy. (Apparently having servants at your beck and call to perform all menial labor and change your fashionable ensembles multiple times a day was most exhausting.)

Thanks to an island-wide ban on automobiles, very little has changed on Mackinac. (The dangerous and raucous machines frightened the horses, you see. Rather impractical.)

This resulted in Mackinac Island turning into a time capsule. Horse and carriage is still the dominant form of transportation. Victorian architecture remains intact on store fronts and homes, preserved with reverence rather than modernized. And cell reception is…sparse. While time on Mackinac may not actually move backward, it certainly slows to a rhythm unfamiliar to us 21st century dwellers. Yet it’s a peaceful pace that is utterly refreshing. I highly recommend it as a MUST vacation spot for every amateur historian and 21st Century Victorian!

Since we can’t venture there today, let’s enjoy a brief cyber-tour of Mackinac Island: A Victorian Oasis!

Mackinac Island

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